VTech VS112-2 Review
Pros: Good sound quality, easy to use, good range
Cons: Limited features, short battery life
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|Pros||Good sound quality, easy to use, good range||Very easy to use, great sound quality, strong battery life, fair price||Exceptional range performance, good sound quality||Easy to use, good sound quality||Inexpensive, great value, decent range|
|Cons||Limited features, short battery life||Little light on features||Poor results in our battery test, sparse on features||Lackluster battery life, limited features||Below average battery life|
|Bottom Line||This phone does have one of the larger displays of the group but otherwise failed to stand out against the other phones||If you want a great cordless phone that is simple and easy to use without a lot of fluff, then this is the model for you||If you need a cordless phone with top-tier range, this is a great choice||If you are looking for a middle-of-the-road phone at a middle-of-the-road price, then this is it||Above average range and sound quality for a great price, making this an obvious choice for those on a budget|
|Rating Categories||VTech VS112-2||AT&T CL82207||VTech DS6621-2||AT&T DL72219||AT&T EL51203|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Battery Life (10%)|
|Specs||VTech VS112-2||AT&T CL82207||VTech DS6621-2||AT&T DL72219||AT&T EL51203|
|Link - to - Cell||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Caller ID announce||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Unobstructed Range Test||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.||840 ft.|
|Obstructed Range Test||230 ft.||300 ft.||390 ft.||280 ft.||220 ft.|
|Call block||Up to 1,000||Smart Call Blocker*||Up to 20 with a subscription||Up to 1,000||Dial *60|
|Expandable Handsets||Up to 5||Up to 12||Up to 5||Up to 5||Up to 5|
|Corded (phone) Base||No||No||No||No||No|
|Speaker Phone on Base||No||No||No||No||No|
|Speaker Phone on Handset||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Phone Book Capacity||1000||50||1000||1000||50|
|Redial||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers||Last 10 Numbers|
|Any Key answer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Push to talk (PTT)||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|HD Audio w/ equalizer||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Optional Belt Clip||No||No||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
As mentioned, this phone does have some unique features, like smart call blocking, a visual ringer, and large text. This makes it a great option for anyone who wants an easier way to block spam calls or for someone who might have a little harder time seeing the screen or hearing the ringer on a typical cordless phone.
Our first set of tests focused on the sound quality of each cordless phone, based on our opinions of it during normal conversations and how it sounded when we listened to recorded messages made with each phone. The VTech VS112-1 did fairly well, earning an above-average score.
We found the messages left by this phone to be fairly good. The voice didn't sound quite true to life but we appreciated that there weren't many clicks or abundance of static that made it hard to understand. We did notice that it tended to be a bit quieter than some of the other phones but, again, it still sounded fine.
Our next set of tests for these products focused on their effective range, or how far the handset can be from the base before the sound cut out. The performance of the VTech VS112-1 dropped a small amount but it still delivered an above-average performance.
To test and score performance, we measured out two courses. One offered an unimpeded view between the base and the phone while the other had a series of walls obstructing the signal. The VTech VS112-1 did very well in the line-of-sight test, matching the performance of the top-tier phones. We had well over 840 feet between the main base and the phone and could hear our conversation just fine.
The performance did drop a bit with the walls in the way, maxing out with around 230 feet between the base station and the phone. We also noticed that it cut out fairly quickly, compared to having a longer stretch where you could only partially hear the conversation.
Ease of Use
Our next set of tests focused on how convenient and easy to operate each of these products are, based on their basic and advanced functions. The VTech VS112-1 did quite well, earning one of the more impressive scores of the group.
When it comes to the basic functions, we looked at the backlight on the screen, the ease of reading the display, placing a call, using the find a phone feature, the ringer volume, muting a call, and setting a date and time. This phone has a decent backlight, with the keypad and a few buttons clearly visible in the dark but we do think you would need to be fairly familiar with the layout of the menus if you are going to try and mess with any of the advanced settings relying solely on the backlight.
We do like that the "find a phone" feature on this product makes the handset ring nice and loud, making it easy to locate a misplaced phone. It rings for about a minute as well. It's quite easy to read the display on this phone, even from a distance of about 6 feet away, and we like that it hyphenates the phone number when placing a call, minimizing misdials.
It's a pretty easy process to call back a missed phone call using just a few keys but we did notice a lack of speed dial. We also like that this phone has one of the loudest ringers, as well as a visual indicator if you prefer silent operation or are hearing impaired.
When it came to advanced functions, we scored each phone on the ease of storing a number in the phone book, blocking phone calls, navigating the advanced menus, and if there is a silent/quiet mode. The VTech VS112-1 again did very well, earning an above-average score.
This phone makes it very easy to save a number from the main screen after you dial it or it takes just a few more steps to navigate through the menus to the phonebook to add/edit/delete an entry. The VTech VS112-1 also has one of the more comprehensive call-blocking options using its smart call blocker, allowing you to easily block an incoming call and help you cut down on unwanted spam calls. However, this usually requires paying for an additional service to be completely effective. The menus are intuitive and easy to navigate and you can activate the quiet mode by simply holding the pound key.
For our features metric, we looked at some common features for these products and awarded points accordingly. We looked at the ability to expand your system with additional handsets, the phone book capacity, keypad lighting, link to cell, if the main base can be used to make call, button size, answering machine capabilities, headset jack, belt clip, and if you can use the phone as an in-home intercom system. Unfortunately, the VTech VS112-1 did score just a bit below average in this regard.
This phone system limits you to a maximum of 5 handsets but does have a fairly massive phonebook capacity of 1000 entries. It has larger buttons that have more than adequate lighting and this phone does have an integrated answering machine. It also can link to your smartphone with link-to-cell capabilities. You can also use the VTech VS112-1 as an intercom system.
However, the main base can't be used to make calls and the handsets lack both a headset jack and a belt clip.
We wrapped up our testing process by comparing measuring the battery life of each handset by timing how long the stock batteries lasted. Additionally, we also looked at the claimed recharging and standby times when determining scores. Unfortunately, the VTech VS112-1 delivered another lackluster score in this metric, earning it a so-so score.
We set up each phone in a call using Google Voice to play music into a recorder, then checked the recording to see how long each phone actually lasted when starting with a full charge. We found this phone lasted for 7 hours, 50 minutes before dying — a bit less than the 10 hours claimed by the manufacturer. It also has one of the shorter claimed standby times — 5 days. VTech states each phone should take about 12 hours to recharge as well, about average for these products.
We think this phone is essentially an average value. It pairs a middle-of-the-road performance in our tests with a middle-of-the-road price tag.
While we don't overly dislike this phone, we do generally think there are higher performing cordless phones or better bargain options out there. It does have some unique features but we think it's overall a fairly average phone.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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